Blueprint of first ever State Planning Board prepared

*Proposal to be placed before Cabinet for approval
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Apr 19: On the directions of the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, the Planning and Development Department has worked out blueprint of the first ever State Planning Board and the same would be placed before the State Cabinet in the near future for consideration and approval. The setting up of state level apex body would go a long way in building a long and constructive vision of planning, particularly for providing promotional stimulus to key drivers of the State’s economy.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that suggestion for setting up of State Planning Board was under consideration of the State Government for quite sometime and now the Planning and Development Department has prepared a detailed blueprint of the same.
“Such an apex body can serve as a think-tank and play an effective advisory and recommendatory role for evolving integrated approach to policy formulation in critical areas of human and economic development”, they said while disclosing that such a need has also been highlighted by the State Finance Commission in its report, which was submitted to the Government in November 2010.
“The State Planning Board can also play a role of mediator and facilitator for devising a framework for allocation of resources for equitable development of different regions across the State”, sources said.
As per the blueprint, Chief Minister would be the Chairman of the Planning Board while as an eminent personality with vast experience of dealing with economic, social development, formulation, implementation of public policy and administrative and legal issues (to be nominated by the Government) would be its Vice-Chairman.
Finance Minister, Minister for Power, Minister for PWD, Chief Secretary, four eminent personalities, who have distinguished themselves in the spheres of trade, commerce, health, education, development planning and technology (to be nominated by the State Government) would be its Members. The Administrative Secretary of the Planning and Development Department has been proposed to be Member Secretary of the Planning Board.
The Vice-Chairman will have the status of the Chief Secretary and the Members (other than Ministers), will have the status of Principal Secretaries to the State Government. It has also been proposed in the blueprint that Advisors to Chief Minister, Chairpersons of Advisory Boards, two Members of Parliament, four Members of Legislative Assembly, three members of Legislative Council and Economic Advisor can be associated as Special Invitees.
The State Planning Board, according to the blueprint, would make an assessment of material, capital and human resources of the State including technical personnel and explore the possibility of augmenting such resources as are found to be deficient in relation to the requirement.
Moreover, the Board would formulate long term, medium term and annual plans for the most effective and balanced utilization of resources, determine priorities and the allocation of resources for the successful implementation of the plan, identify the factors which retard economic development and determine the conditions which should be established for accelerated growth.
It will also have the responsibility of appraising and evaluating the progress achieved in the implementation of plan, programmes and projects and recommend the modification in policy and other corrective measures that may be necessary to achieve the intended objectives. Moreover, as per the blue-print, the Board will advise the Government on matters of socio-economic development and, guide the district authorities, urban local bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions in formulation of development plans in the decentralized framework to synchronize with the overall State plan priorities. It will also monitor closely the progress of development and welfare schemes by conducting periodic reviews.
About the working of the State Planning Board, the blueprint said it will be carried out by eight divisions within the Planning and Development Department. These divisions include Perspective Planning, Multi-Sector Planning, Area Planning, Human Resource Development, Industry and Infrastructure, Agriculture and Rural Development, Monitoring and Project Appraisal and Economics and Statistics.


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